I have a bunch of old magazines that I occasionally dig out.
They are magazines that I bought because of something historic that was being covered at the time.
Among the 50 or so magazines that I have kept over the years are Look, Life, People, Newsweek and Time. I've thrown all of the National Enquirers and Globes away.
These magazines cover about a 40-year time span.
What is interesting is that as I pick one up to read, especially those from the 1980s and 1990s, how much time has passed and how little things have really changed.
Although I saved the magazines for a specific reason like a story on John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan, the other stories could easily be plucked from today's headlines.
The best example pertains to the politics of the day.
Strangely, Republicans and Democrats were at it over the entire period of magazines I have.
Let's use a January 1983 Life magazine I have as an example in which the year 1982 was recapped:
• Strife in the Middle East, complete with suicide bombers.
• War or the threat of war with problems in Central and South America.
• It was the year of the Faulklands War between Great Britian and Argentina.
• First double-digit unemployment since 1941; 11 million out of work.
• The British Royalty was in the news.
• No AIDs yet, but a lot of talk about sexually transmitted disease, especially a cure for Herpes.
• Court system overwhelmed with 300,000 jury trials.
• Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger warned "that the courts had become so burdened with laws and litigation that the American system of justice may literally break down before the end of the century."
• "Don't leave me, I don't want to be by myself;" the last words of movie star John Belushi who reportably died of a drug overdose.
• Stephen King was writing horror stories.
• Advertisers were hyping weight loss and beauty secrets of the stars.
• Shelley Long, Eddie Murphy and Glenn Close were acting.
• Everyday people were doing extraordinary things to save lives like in the Air Florida crash into the Potomac River.
Many of the politicians have changed today, but the rhetoric is still the same as it was in 1982; everyone in Washington trying to one-up
Now to be fair, there have been changes over the past 32 years, but not as much as you would think, especially on the national political front.
I guess as humankind we just don't learn that well from the past, or our mistakes.